Why Did Jesse Spencer Leave 'Chicago Fire'?

Jesse Spencer has been a part of the Chicago Fire family since its debut in 2012. He played the role of Captain Matthew Casey for 10 seasons but, sadly, after almost a decade working on the show, Spencer hung up his Chicago fireman uniform and said goodbye to the Chicago Fire family. Newsweek has everything you need to know about his exit and his plans for a possible return.

Why Did Jesse Spencer Leave Chicago Fire?

Alongside, Taylor Kinney, David Eigenberg, Eamonn Walker, Christian Stolte, and Joe Minoso, Jesse Spencer had been a part of the original Chicago Fire family for 10 seasons as part of the fictional Firehouse 51.

However, after almost a decade of being on the show, Spencer felt it was time to move on from Chicago Fire and pursue new opportunities.

Speaking to TV Line and other press, Spencer explained: "I realized I've been doing TV for a long time. I added it up, and I think this year is my 18th year of network television.

"I called [showrunner] Derek [Haas] and broke him the news, said I thought it was time to leave the show, and he agreed that we should at least get Casey to 200 episodes. It was a difficult decision because I've loved the show from the start, but there are other things that I would like to do in the future, and there's some family that I need to take care of, and 18 years is a long time."

In the 200th episode, Casey told his colleagues he was moving to Oregon to take care of his late best friend Andy Darden's (Corey Sorenson) sons for the next three years.

Darden had died in the show's pilot in 2012 and his son's futures were not looking so great. Their mom was in prison and their aunt, who was entrusted with looking after them, was never around.

As a result, Darden's sons were at risk of being placed in separate foster homes.

Spencer described the storyline as a "perfect full-circle [moment] and a really reasonable way for Casey to, organically, leave the show."

However, the door is always open for Spencer to return. In his final episode, Casey accepted a job at the Portland Fire Department, so he is still part of the Chicago Fire universe.

Showrunner Derek Haas teased: "This is a three-year commitment that Casey is making, but hopefully, we'll see him before those three years are done."

Additionally, Casey and his girlfriend Brett (Kara Killmer) will be trying to make their relationship work long-distance after she opted to stay behind in Chicago to help on the paramedicine program she had just launched, so Casey should still be in the picture as the season continues.

On a future return to the show, Spencer confirmed there is "potential" for Casey to return.

He said: "There is the potential for me to come back. I still am in Chicago right now. I'm not running off to Los Angeles or anything, although I might escape for a little bit of the winter.

"My home here with my wife is in Chicago, and so I'm still going to be here, but I'm just stepping back for right now."

After the episode aired, Spencer took to Twitter to share a personal video he had made of his final season on Chicago Fire, featuring behind-the-scenes footage of him and the cast and crew.

https://t.co/EiO13QyHd7 #ChicagoFire

— Jesse Spencer (@Jesse_Spencer) October 21, 2021

Fans replied to their video, sharing their love for Spencer and their sadness he will no longer be a part of the show.

One fan tweeted: "Now I'm crying. Thanks for all the great memories, Jesse. Going to miss seeing you as Captain Matt Casey. #ChicagoFire200 #OneChicago."

A second fan chimed in: "this is heartbreaking Jesse. can't imagine Chicago fire without you, so no way I can keep watching. but I'm thankful for all these years and all the moments of joy you gave us. I'm gonna miss you so much."

https://t.co/EiO13QyHd7 #ChicagoFire

— Jesse Spencer (@Jesse_Spencer) October 21, 2021

A third fan added: "Jesse! To say that I'm devastated to see you leave is an understatement. Casey has always been my fave from Day 1. You did an amazing job carrying this show as the lead and you'll be sooooo missed! But I'm glad you did it on your own terms. Wishing you good luck in all you do!"

Chicago Fire airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

Jesse Spencer Chicago Fire
Jesse Spencer as Matthew Casey in 'Chicago Fire' Lori Allen/NBC